Hollywood Knitting - Hedy Lamarr


Hedy Lamarr was born Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler November 9, 1914, in Vienna, Austria.

Lamarr was considered notorious even by Hollywood standards for a few reasons:
- Her physical appearance. The Hollywood press of the 1940's referred to her "the most beauti
ful woman in the world."
Her risqué first film, Ecstasy. She was 18 when the film was made, and the director filmed the nude scenes in itwithout her permission with a telephoto lens. She felt exploited by the German and turned to the stage.
- Her six marriages. She left her first husband because of the emotional and verbal abuse she suffered. She comments on feeling a prisoner in her own home and that she married each of her husbands for different reasons.
- Her brilliant mind. She was a staunch anti-fascist and used her mathematical and scientific gifts to assist the Allied war efforts during World War II by inventing frequency-hopping spread spectrum technology (FHSS) with composer George Antheil. According to an article in psmag.com,

“Co-created with composer George Antheil, FHSS is a technology that switches radio signals quickly between different frequencies so that the signals are difficult to trace. Though Lamarr and Antheil created FHSS to keep Allied radio-guided torpedoes out of the sights of the Germans during World War II, their patent was dismissed by the United States Navy and left to lapse. FHSS was rediscovered by engineers at the Sylvania Electronic Systems Division in the 1950s and became the precursor to modern technologies we use every day in Wi-Fi, GPS, and Bluetooth technologies.”

Unfortunately, the National Inventors Council told her she could better help the war by exploiting her celebrity to raise money for war bonds. And she did it.

Her drug addiction broke her health; She became addicted when given drugs to help her endure grueling work hours. She died January 19, 2000, just as her contribution to technology was on the cusp of being recognized.

March 16, 2018 by Kelli Ladwig

Hollywood Knitting - Gail Russell


Gail Russell was born September 21, 1924 in Chicago, IL as Betty Gale Russell.

She was chronically shy which led to her drinking to cope with the stress of acting and maintaining a public life.  She dies at the age of 36 from the effects of alcoholism.

She was married to Guy Madison who played Wild Bill Hickok in the TV series.

She was in one of my favorite movies as a child, Angel and the Badman, alongside John Wayne.  I found her to have a very endearing presence onscreen.

August 25, 2017 by Kelli Ladwig

Hollywood Knitting - Carole Lombard

One of my absolute favorite actresses, Carole Lombard. She was the highest paid Hollywood star in the late 1930’s. Her final film with Jack Benny and Robert Stack, “To Be or Not to Be”, was in post-production when she died in an airplane crash while on a World War II War bond drive.
November 18, 2016 by Kelli Ladwig

Hollywood Knitting - Ann Sheridan

Ann is a Denton, Texas girl. Her official website says, “Ann Sheridan was born on Sunday February 21st, 1915, in Denton Texas. She came into the world as Clara Lou Sheridan. Growing up on a ranch, Ann became quite the tomboy. She could bulldog a steer. She knew how to ride a horse exceptionally well and she was a pretty good shot with a gun."
October 26, 2016 by Kelli Ladwig

Hollywood Knitting - Rosalind Russell

Rosalind Russell was born 1907 in Waterford, CT. Best known roles of hers are "His Girl Friday" & "The Women". Although she was frustrated with being typecast as a "lady", she was able to transform these roles into roles as strong, intelligent, independent women who went against societal norms. She also showed a brilliant gift for comedy.
June 28, 2016 by Kelli Ladwig

Hollywood Knitting - Betty Grable

Elizabeth Ruth "Betty" Grable was born December 18, 1916 in St. Louis, MO. According to a newspaper published at the time of her death, "Her 42 movies during the 1930s and 1940s grossed more than $100 million. She set a record of 12 consecutive years in the top 10 of box office stars. The Treasury Department in 1946-47 listed her as the highest-salaried American woman. She earned more than $3 million during her career."
June 21, 2016 by Kelli Ladwig

Hollywood Knitting - Sophia Loren

Sophia Loren was born September 20, 1934 in Rome, Italy. She was with one man her entire life although do to quirks in Italian law she could not legally be married to him Carlo Ponti for a while. Rumor has it she had some affairs in that in between time when her marriage was annulled before she remarried Ponti. Regardless, she knew how to knit and there is a fun sweater pattern named after her.


June 14, 2016 by Kelli Ladwig

Hollywood Knitting - Jayne Mansfield

Jayne Mansfield was born Vera Jayne Palmer in 1933 in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. Mansfield was her first husband's last name.

Mansfield moved to Dallas as a child and graduated from Highland Parl High School in 1950. She attended SMU and UT for a while. She took acting classes from Baruch Lumet, father of director, Stanley Lumet. She moved to Los Angeles in 1954.


June 03, 2016 by Kelli Ladwig

Knit Your Bit, Part II

What impresses me about Lucille is the number of careers she pursued. She worked in fashion modeling, dramatic theater, vaudeville, movies, radio, and television. She then moved into the studio and production side of television while still acting in Broadway and in movies.

Knit Your Bit, Part 1

I spent last weekend at the DFW Fiber Fest and had a great time. The Fiber Fest took scarf donations for veterans organized by the National World War II Museum. I love that the museum has knitting and crochet patterns for scarves as well as history behind knitting for soldiers.